On the past week I was planning the design of a new Wiki for my classroom. Right now I’ve designed a Wiki for collaborative work that it can be visited and modified by students, teachers and others who wants to participate with.
Wikis is a good way for planning and coordinate many tasks and activities, as well as, it allows people to be up-to-date with information in one place, in my opinion the old way of sending email one to others is a mess. Meanwhile, Internet offers you wikis for free, there is a lot of sites, just googling you can setup one in few minutes.
In such search, I’ve found Wikidot, a free wiki site where you can get up an account and begin to customize pages, menus, add-ons, templates and others useful features. This site has free accounts where it gives you 2 GB for content and 300 MB for file management, also you can add google gadgets like google maps, chat, calendars and google docs, very useful for students and teachers that wants to share info over internet.
Don’t confuse the idea of sharing information with CMS (Content Management Systems), or LMS (Learning Management Systems), because wikis differs a lot from such products, the goal of wiki sites is to develop collaborative content, not learning or content management.
I think students can get the best of their classes and matter’s with wikis, not only Wikipedia has the info, you can create and maintain fresh content into your own wiki, also you can get into forums, chats, surveys only with one tool. People in the class has the opportunity to access to the information when they want, where they are, from any internet device (mobile, PC). For teachers: they can publish guides, contents, questionaries, audio, videos, podcasts; also they can suggest books to students, and spread the info just with a click.
But, the advantages of wiki not only stuck in what content you can build, wikis is the best place for researchers because they can share and swap info while they are researching, now when Internet is the express way to knowledge interchange for science, wiki is a mandatory tool for scientists and researchers worldwide.
Wikis in Plain English (Youtube, 3:52 min.)
Using Wikis to Conduct Qualitative Research (Youtube, 6:46 min.)